Protests as police allegedly beat man to death in Abuja

Protests as police allegedly beat man to death in Abuja

- Police brutality is sadly becoming a norm in Nigeria as Nigerians seem to be living under the siege of law enforcement agents

- A recent case in Abaji, a suburb in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja suggest improper conduct of police officers is still on the rise

- A 25-year-old man, Saidu Babale, has been allegedly beaten to death by the police in the area

A report by Daily Trust indicates that youths in Abaji a suburb in Abuja have protested over the death of a 25-year-old man, Saidu Babale, allegedly beaten to death by the police in the area.

A resident, who witnessed the alleged police brutality, Abdullahi Kabiru, said that the incident happened last week Thursday, March 26 around 12: 30 am when some youths, including the deceased, allegedly barricaded a road to prevent police officers, led by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Umar Musa, on patrol from passing through the street.

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He said the youths, who were sleeping outside close to the road as a result of heat, sighted the police vehicle coming and they stood up and used a bench to barricade the road.

Protests as police allegedly beat man to death in Abuja

IGP Mohammed Adamu has a duty to address the rising case of police brutality in Nigeria
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According to him, the DPO and his men alighted from the patrol vehicle and removed the barricade but that angered the youths who allegedly hurled stones at the DPO and his men while they took to their heels.

“The next day the DPO ordered the vigilante members to go after those boys that stoned him and his men. They were traced and arrested, and taken to the station,” he added.

The suspects were allegedly tortured by the police which left one of them unconscious and was rushed to the hospital where he later died.

The death was said to have sparked a protest by some youths in the area.

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An elder brother of the deceased, Abubakar Sadiq Yahaya, said the family would seek judicial redress over the death of his brother.

He said he was shocked when a Volkswagen Golf car brought his brother home on the morning of Friday, March 27.

According to him, his brother’s unconscious body was bruised and bloodied when he was brought home.

He said when he asked the driver where he got him from, the driver said it was the Abaji Police Division that asked him to convey his brother home.

Also speaking, Ahmed Abdulkarim, who was arrested alongside the deceased and claimed they were tortured together by the police.

He alleged that the police tortured them inside the cell, that the police tied up their hands and legs and hit them with batons.

“They handcuffed our hands after using a rope to tie our legs, then they started using their police stick to hit us all over our body, and later pushed us inside the cell,” he said.

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Abdulkarim also said the DPO was not around when the police started beating them, but when he later arrived, he ordered more punishment on them.

Responding to the allegations, the DPO, CSP Musa, denied that the police were responsible for torturing the deceased.

He said he visited the hospital in order to ascertain the state of health of the three youths in which he was informed that one of them gave up, saying both vigilantes who brought the three youths to the station and one of his officers have written statements and have been forwarded to the state CID for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has directed all zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police and commissioners of police nationwide to ensure social restriction orders to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

The IGP in a statement on Sunday, March 22 issued on his behalf by the police spokesman, DCP Frank Mba, directed that all legitimate orders given in pursuant to the containment efforts on the viral disease are strictly enforced within their areas of jurisdiction.

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IGP Adamu also warned against unnecessary arrests and detention of suspects, even as he enjoined Nigerians to voluntarily adhere to the orders of relevant authorities concerning the disease.

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